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War vets protest farm seizure in Zimbabwe

Harare - Zimbabwe war veterans staged a demonstration on Monday in support of a white dairy farmer and 75 of his workers who were kicked out of their homes in south-west Zimbabwe earlier this month by a senior aide to President Robert Mugabe, in violation of a high court order.

David Connolly farms about 30km from Bulawayo in the Figtree district.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File picture: Philimon Bulawayo. Credit: Reuters

Ray Ndhlukula, deputy chief secretary in Mugabe’s presidential office, moved some of his farming equipment and his workers on to Connolly’s property earlier this month despite a high court barring him from interfering with any farming operations.

Ndhlukula also drove Connolly’s cattle from the farm.

Connolly said on Tuesday he was surprised when two truckloads of former fighters, loyal to Joshua Nkomo in the 1970s civil war to end minority white rule, arrived at the farm.

“I heard in advance they were coming but I thought it would be at the weekend. Since they arrived most of the new workers packed up their things and moved out.

“I was very grateful for this support, and I am going to the constitutional court now as I must plant tomatoes early next month. They can’t wait. The seedlings are all ready.”

According The Southern Eye, the war veterans who were part of Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African Peoples Revolutionary Army, Zipra, carried posters to protest the invasion. One read: “Zipra fought for land to ensure its fair distribution irrespective of the colour of ones’s race, tribe or political affiliation.”

The veterans said the Connolly family, and several other white farmers in the area, had helped them during the war. A petition from Connolly’s workers, most of whom lived there all their lives, protesting Ndhlukula’s takeover, was handed over to officials at the SADC summit in Victoria Falls at the weekend. - Independent Foreign Service

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